The Chicago Blackhawks have been playing better hockey recently, and now they have the opportunity to go for their fifth straight win on Thursday night against the Dallas Stars. The visitors are just 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, and are only 14-14-2 away from home this season. While Jonathan Toews will miss the game due to an upper body injury believed to be a concussion, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson may rejoin the team after missing the last seven contests with concussive symptoms.
Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford has taken heat this season for giving up some bad goals, but he is playing lights out right now. He has allowed only one goal in each of the last three games, and recorded 93 saves during that same span. SB Nation's Blackhawks blog, Second City Hockey, is understandably happy with the recent performance by goaltender Corey Crawford:
Corey Crawford - Well this is the easy one, isn't it? One goal given up in each of the last three, with a pretty sterling performance last night and especially in NY. My big fear last night is that the Wings were going to send the roving hoards at his crease, which would cause those scrambles he's had so much trouble with all year that seem to always end up in the net. While Scum didn't exactly resemble the Mongolians over the ridge (though their fans did, ZING!), they didn't leave Crow alone either. But I only recall one or two dogpiles that didn't stop, both in the 2nd. From there, while pretty stoutly protected, Crow stood tall. Moving deeper and relaxing has made all the difference. It's only been a brief spurt, but I bet it's put any calls from Stan Bowman looking for a goalie on the back burner. And you know what? That's fine with me.
Game date/time: 7:30 PM CT, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012
Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Radio: 720 AM
Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Blackhawks, be sure to visit Second City Hockey. For more Stars hockey news and information, check out Defending Big D.